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INTERNAZIONALI BNL D'ITALIA
Rome, Italy

May 10, 2008
Djokovic to Meet Wawrinka in Rome Final

© Getty Images
Novak Djokovic Third-seeded Serbian Novak Djokovic (pictured) will attempt to capture his 10th career ATP title against first-time ATP Masters Series finalist Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland in the Internazionali BNL d'Italia final on Sunday.

Djokovic has won the pair's last two meetings in the 2007 Vienna final and 2008 ATP Masters Series Indian Wells quarterfinals. Wawrinka has two wins in five meetings over Djokovic, the last of which came at 2006 Vienna. Final Head-to-Head

Internazional BNL d'Italia Photo Gallery

World No. 3 Djokovic will attempt to clinch his third title of the year and fourth ATP Masters Series shield on Sunday, following Czech Radek Stepanek's decision to retire due to heat exhaustion at the start of the second set of their semifinal clash at the Foro Italico.

Djokovic was leading 6-0, 1-0 after 35 minutes, when 29-year-old Stepanek - who beat ATP World No. 1 Roger Federer on Friday - retired at the change of ends. Djokovic had won 24 of 31 points in the 22-minute first set, before Stepanek took a 10-minute break before the start of the second set.

The 20-year-old Djokovic, who captured his maiden Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January (d. Tsonga) and ATP Masters Series Indian Wells in March (d. Fish), improves to 24-5 on the season.

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Andy Roddick In the first semifinal, Wawrinka booked his place in the final when sixth-seeded American Andy Roddick (pictured) retired with a left-sided back injury at the start of the fourth game of the first set. Wawrinka was leading 3-0 in the pair's first career meeting, when 2002 semifinalist Roddick retired after 15 minutes of play. Roddick had won just four of 17 points.

The 22-year-old Wawrinka is the first unseeded player to advance to the ATP Masters Series final since Felix Mantilla, who beat Federer in the 2003 final. He will now break into the Top 10 at No. 10 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings on Monday. Two Swiss players have never ranked in the Top 10 at the same time in the history of the ATP Rankings (since 1973).

The St. Barthelemy resident improves to 22-9 (9-2 on clay) this year and take his place in his sixth career ATP final. In January, Wawrinka reached the Doha final (l. to Murray).

Roddick, who has clinched 2008 ATP titles at San Jose (d Stepanek) and Dubai (d Lopez), drops to 24-5 on the season. The 25-year-old lost to Tommy Haas in the 2002 Rome semifinals.

Internazionali BNL d'Italia Tournament Profile | International TV Schedule

Friday: Stepanek Upsets Federer; Djokovic into SFs
Friday: Wawrinka Reaches SFs; Breaks into World's Top 20
Thursday: Americans Blake, Roddick Reach Quarterfinals
Thursday: Djokovic Sets Up QF with Almagro; Federer Advances
Wednesday: Ferrero Upsets Clay King Nadal; Blake Wins
Wednesday: Djokovic Races into 3rd RD; Nalbandian, Ferrer Fall
Tuesday: Federer Passes Test for Third Round Berth
Tuesday: Roddick Makes Confident Start at Foro Italico
Monday: Canas Sets Up Federer Clash; Wawrinka Ousts Safin
Monday: Gasquet Falls to World No. 111 Qualifier in Opener